The Big Oak Amusement Emporium

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

In the past we’ve talked about the little whistle stop burg of Big Oak Flat. There’s not much going on there although it is rich in gold mining history. Today it’s known mostly as the moniker for the road that takes you into the park. The tye-die man is a fixture there, hoping to land a sale to aging hippies. Well, all that may change. Seems a developer wants to plunk down $60M and create “Yosemite Gateway Plaza.” Morgan Burkett, President of an Albuquerque LLC called Legacy Hospitality thinks he can make money by building two hotels, an indoor water park, ten buildings for retail and business space, two take-out style restaurants, a gas station, an IMAX type movie theater, a 10 lane bowling alley/arcade and a sports and fitness center. Gee is that all? What about the NASCAR track and Dolly Parton theater? The Tuolumne County Community Development Department has begun work preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project that has been a back-of-the-napkin idea for decades. They are looking at 38 acres for the Plaza. The EIR may not be ready until early 2011. The big question is if you build it – will they come?

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Money, it’s a gas. Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash. New car, caviar, four star daydream. Think I’ll buy me a football team.” – Pink Floyd

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


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